White Rock residents petition against six storeys
A meeting to rally residents opposed to a six-storey development proposed for White Rock’s waterfront drew “quite a packed crowd” last week, organizers said.
“It was very successful,” said Bob Berger, a neighbour of the Marine Drive property slated for the development. “A lot of frustration was vented and people were motivated to get their views across and have them presented to council.”
The April 18 meeting, held at Centennial Park hall, was organized to discuss the potential impact of plans for 14807 Marine Dr., the site of White Rock Mufflers. After proposing various height options, proponents earlier this month presented citizens with the concept of a six-storey terraced residential/commercial project. To proceed, council would have to endorse changes to the area’s zoning, which currently allows developments of up to three storeys.
Neighbours opposed to the project say they are concerned allowing the building as proposed will set a high-density precedent in an area that is already challenged with traffic movement and parking issues.
Contrary to the proponents’ claims, the building would also impact views, residents say.
“The entire waterfront is going to be changed with this kind of a project,” Berger said.
A petition calling on council to stop the proposal and “confirm integrity of the existing Official Community Plan and bylaws stipulating a maximum building height of three storeys” collected 114 signatures in its first hour, Hollie Whitehead told Peace Arch News by email.
The petition is also online (www.ipetitions.com/petition/whiterockmufflersite) and is being distributed by several people, Whitehead noted.
Berger said efforts to raise the community’s awareness of “the kind of outrageousness that’s been proposed” will not stop.
Plans are in the works to meet with individual city councillors, and another community meeting will be organized, Berger said.
Berger said he is optimistic the efforts will get the city’s attention.
“We are eternally optimistic and hoping that the increasing agitation and frustration of the community will begin to be heard by council and that they will respond favourably,” he said.
Developer Robert Wilson told Peace Arch News he has heard from many people who support the project. Those people typically don’t attend meetings, he noted.
He expects the proposal to be brought before city council within the next few weeks.